Questions tagged [pawns]

Questions relating to pawns in chess

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33
votes
3answers
12k views

When and why was en passant invented?

Other than castling, the only "strange" move that chess pieces can ever make is en passant. It seems a little odd to me that someone thought that such a "different" move was so important to include ...
28
votes
10answers
14k views

Why would one promote a pawn to a knight?

I know that it is makes no sense to promote a pawn to a bishop or a rook as the queen can compensate for both but a knight is something different. However, the queen is still much more powerful. So ...
22
votes
9answers
15k views

Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

While browsing the Chess Stack Exchange and Puzzling Stack Exchange sites, I've come across several instances where people have found loopholes in the rules of chess, causing these loopholes to be ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Pawn to Queen probabilities chart

Statistically speaking, which white and black pawns are most likely to be queened?
21
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4answers
41k views

Can a pawn put a king in check?

I am only an amateur player, but have been playing for many years. Every now and then I come across people who are adamant that a pawn cannot put a king into check. The last person who I discussed ...
19
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6answers
6k views

Why struggle for a single pawn?

I've seen many chess games, where after a certain point, one side maneuvers their pieces (like doubling the rooks) to target a single point. Most of time it's a pawn on the wing and the other side ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

How to deal with an opposing pawn storm?

During some recent games I played, I have lost because my opponent advanced their pawns very far, attacking my pieces and forcing them to retreat. In some cases the pieces became trapped as well. ...
17
votes
3answers
12k views

What is a pawn break?

I did some research (google), but it still unclear to me on exactly what a pawn break is. I was reading this question: The theory of pawn breaks about the theory of pawn breaks, but before I could ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Alekhine's Defense variation, understanding white's overextended pawns, black's multiple early knight moves

I'm a casual, semi-serious chess player and have been an active player for over 10 years. In my time playing, one of the most unusual openings I have had the pleasure of playing against is known as ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Was the value of thorn pawns fully appreciated in decades past?

Many videos on YouTube channel "Kingscrusher" which discuss the play of new neural-net engines like Leela Chess Zero focus considerable attention upon the development of "thorn pawns" which are pawns ...
16
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1answer
3k views

How did a pawn appear out of thin air in “P @ e2” after queen capture?

I was playing chess against the computer and captured black’s queen. All of a sudden, a black pawn appears out of thin air, one space behind the captured queen for a total of nine pawns, and moves ...
15
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3answers
2k views

What sense does promotion to queen make?

When a pawn finally reaches the eighth rank, then it can be promoted to rook, knight, bishop or queen. It is not hard to imagine that a soldier who has achieved a lot could be promoted to an officer. ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the pawns only variant a draw?

In the pawns-only variant of chess, each side starts with 8 pawns and a king on the usual squares, no pieces, with other rules being the same as in regular chess, including promotion. While general ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

The theory of pawn breaks

Does there exist a theory of pawn breaks? Of course, there exists a theory of static pawn structure and good bishops; but I was thinking of rooks rather than bishops, and of aggressive pawns that ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Is the “Pawn Box” possible in standard chess?

Is it possible to create a "pawn box" as shown below (using legal moves and the help of black) in standard chess? The positions don't need to be exactly as shown, and there can be more pieces on the ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Is pawns supporting pawns a good opening strategy?

For my opening strategy in most chess games I play, I usually move my pawns forward two, then one in an alternating strategy, until I have a sort of WWW shape with my pawns. That way, if anyone takes ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Are isolated passed pawns good or bad?

I frequently face situations in the late middle game (perhaps only a one minor piece and a rook or two on each side, no queens) where I can force a position (via exchanges) where both players are ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What is the shortest number of moves from the starting position required for Black to mate White with a pawn?

Interesting puzzle that is quite hard to stop.
13
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3answers
2k views

How to decide when is a3/h3 needed?

a3/h3 are frequently used to prevent the bishops from pinning the knights. I always have a hard time deciding whether to play them or not. Playing them loses moves and tempo while not playing can ...
13
votes
3answers
694 views

What's the point of early a2-a4 in the Modern Italian?

It seems that just every top GM is now playing the modern interpretation of the Italian Game (with c3 and d3) with an early a2 to a4 Pawn move, something that only a few years back was considered a ...
13
votes
3answers
469 views

World Cup: passed pawns vs extra piece

[fen "N7/P3pk1p/3p2p1/r4p2/8/4b2B/4P1KP/1R6 w - - 0 34"] [white "Max Illingworth"] [black "Pentala Harikrishna"] White to move. In this World Cup game, Black demonstrated the power of pawns and won ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Games where a pawn checkmates the king

Could you please refer some examples of game where, on the last move, a pawn checkmates the king (preferably from grandmaster's games)?
12
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2answers
766 views

Did any authors ever try to adopt Hans Kmoch's pawn structure terminology?

In response to an earlier question, I mentioned the 1959 book Pawn Power in Chess by IM Hans Kmoch. One of the book's most well-known aspects it that it introduced a glut of less-than-useful ...
11
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2answers
923 views

How can I to hold on to the pawn plus for black in the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

A few years back I used to play with a player who always accepted the queens gambit pawn and used to hold on to it and sometimes win with the pawn plus. Is there any specific variation that can be ...
11
votes
1answer
649 views

Pawn confrontations: capture, push past, or leave the tension?

When your opponent moves a pawn to a position where it can be captured by one of your pawns, how should you determine whether to capture it, push past it or leave the tension on the board and make a ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Why can't a piece (that isn't a pawn) capture en passant?

Why can't a piece (that isn't a pawn) capture en passant? When a pawn makes a two-square move, the en passant rule says that on the next move, any pawn that could have captured it on the single-...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is d5 the best move in this position?

What is the thought process behind playing d5 in this position?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the importance of pawns in the endgame?

How important is it to have more pawns in the endgame phase? Does the power of the individual pawns decrease or increase as the game progresses and why?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Exact definition of a blocked pawn

What exactly is a blocked pawn? Is it a pawn with any of the opponent pieces in front or does it have to be an opponent pawn? Will the pawn be considered blocked if it can capture? Add any other ...
9
votes
2answers
811 views

What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

Something I have wondered about recently is the highest number of passed pawns that is theoretically possible. What is the answer, and the fastest way to achieve that result?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is c4 a better move in this position?

The computer analysis on a game I played tells me that in the following position, White should have played c4 instead of e5: [fen "r3qrk1/pppb1ppp/1nn1p3/6B1/3PP3/P1P2N2/4BPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 1"] ...
9
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3answers
3k views

What are the motivations behind pawn moves on a and h files?

Sometimes when there are no clearly optimal moves, a computer or a human master player would push their pawns on a and h files (the edges of the board), for no clear reasons. What would be the ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Pawn Promotion Endgame Problem-White to move and mate in 1

So I have not been this interested in chess for a very long time indeed. This problem was posed to me by someone who has recently become experienced in chess and also participated in a chess ...
8
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4answers
3k views

What is it called when opposite colored pawns up against each other?

When a white pawn and a black pawn are touching on a file, what is it called?
8
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3answers
1k views

What's up with the doubled pawns?

There's another question on this SE, which asks the question in reverse: What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns? The answers do ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is e5 the strongest move here for white?

[FEN "rnb1kb1r/pp1pp2p/2p2ppn/q7/2BPP3/5N1P/PPPN1PP1/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 3 8"] I'm a noob at chess, as I just started playing a week back. I'm played as White here, and Stockfish recommended e5 ...
8
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3answers
3k views

“Pawn Power in Chess” by Hans Kmoch vs “Pawn Structure Chess” by Andrew Soltis

I have Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch, but I can hardly understand what he is trying to convey in the book. Maybe this has to do with my level of play or maybe it has to do with the way Kmoch ...
8
votes
3answers
294 views

Capture towards the center vs. undoubling

There is a spoken advice to capture with the pawns always towards the center. This situation let me think for a while. Is undoubling here not better?
7
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3answers
1k views

When should I play f3/f6?

For context, I've been playing chess for around two years now, and my rating on Lichess is ~1850. When I first started playing, I learned a lot of heuristics for playing well, e.g. rooks are better ...
7
votes
2answers
455 views

In how many cases of K, P vs. K, N, N endings can the stronger side force checkmate?

For instance, it wouldn't be possible if the Pawn was on the verge of queening. But is it always possible if the Pawn started off on its original square? Is it usually possible? Or is it only ...
7
votes
3answers
348 views

What does “knights have no long-lasting support points” mean in this game?

In this article on pawn structure, the author uses this game as example: [Event "Prague 2008"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "David Navara"] [Black "Vladimir Kramnik"] [Result "0-...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Pushing the e-pawn

I am having trouble understanding why the move e5 which I played in the position below is not correct according to Stockfish (6th move for White) I am not doing this move by winning a tempo, but I ...
6
votes
6answers
727 views

Why does the computer want to undermine this pawn chain at the tip instead of at its root?

I had the following position with black in a game I recently played: [FEN "r1bqkbnr/pp1n1ppp/2p1p3/2Pp4/3P4/4PN2/PP3PPP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq - 9 5"] and proceeded with 5... e5 However, after the game ...
6
votes
7answers
813 views

I don't understand the central-control difference between 1. e4 and 1. e3

The books/articles tell me that the center is d4, d5, e4, and e5. 1. e4 controls d5, but 1. e3 controls d4. Both control one square in the center, no? Yet 1. e4 is apparently a vast improvement ...
6
votes
4answers
842 views

Artificially isolated pawn in the Caro-Kann

I would like to know why it is so disadvantageous to have an advanced artificially isolated pawn when it can be exchanged by another pawn. I refer to situations where a side cannot mantain such square ...
6
votes
2answers
755 views

Caro-Kann c5-c4 push

I am having trouble understanding why the push c4 here is incorrect for Black. After 9. Qc2 b5 10. a4 a6 11. axb5 axb5 12. Rxa8 can be recaptured with the Queen and the pawn chain is stable. What is ...
6
votes
4answers
436 views

Understanding The Isolani Pawn

After reading Chess structures of Mauricio Flores Rios, I have some initial questions on the Isolani (or isolated queen pawn). The author shows this diagram: Later, he proceeds to giving White and ...
6
votes
2answers
999 views

How to win a rook endgame with two extra pawns-4 vs 2 general plan

In this diagram it's White to move. Black should be winning in this endgame. I want a simple plan on how to move the Black pawns in a way that I will avoid the horizontal and vertical checks from the ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

A question about piece development

As opening principles say, you shouldn't push too many pawns in the opening. Instead, you should concentrate more on piece development. However, I have good example where it worked the other way ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Pawn theory / exercises

I am not a very strong positional player and I thought I could work on my pawn theory a bit. Are there common exercises or internet resources I could look into for how to play better pawn structures ...